CNC cutting Fiberglass cloth

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by Sam III, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. Sam III
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: League City, TX USA

    Sam III Junior Member

    Does anyone here use a CNC machine to cut fiberglass cloth for boats?

    I would like to do that for a boat we are building but am not sure what kind of equipment it takes?

    Heaviest cloth we use now is 600 gsm Triax fiberglass and 600 gsm Carbon fiber.

    I have a CNC Router and was thinking of locating/building a rotary cutter attachment to cut the material.

    Thoughts, hints, experiences?

    Thanks in advance.

    Sam
     
  2. Nick F
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    Nick F Junior Member

  3. CTMD
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    Location: Melbourne, Aus

    CTMD Naval Architect

    The video gives a good idea of what is required. I'd be surprised if your router could be tailored to suit. As you can see on the video, the blade has to be rotated to suit the cutting direction, this isn't typically available with CNC routers, but talk to the manufacturer, you never know.
     
  4. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    Hi Sam

    You can lasercut fiberglass. The cutting line is black though, since the glass gets burned away there. You will need a bit more laser power than you expect, which is stil relative low... 60 W up could probably cut it. Speed may be slow on the lower watts.

    I don't know about the carbon fiber, haven't found out about that though.

    Most CNC softwares have the option to compensate for backlash on the axles. If you have a rolling blade that 'drags' behind the X Y position, you should be able to compensate for that.

    On the other hand, it won't be a boat smash to add a 4th axle to steer the rolling blade in the direction it is cutting..
     
  5. duluthboats
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    duluthboats Senior Dreamer

    2 people like this.
  6. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    Hey hey ! Check out the sail software down the page ;)
     
  7. Sam III
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Sam III Junior Member

    I emailed Greg last week but have not heard anything back yet.

    I would need to add a 4th axis or have an off center rotary blade and then allow for lead in movement and blade offset on my cutting instruction.

    IE drop the blade down close to material and move real slow on X Y to align the blade behind the center point of the router axis.

    Sounds do able, but I subscribe to the 'Wisdom' vs 'Experience' School.

    Experience you learn from your own mistakes. Wisdom you learn from others.:p

    Sam
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. David White
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    David White Junior Member

    If anyone is still interesred, my company specilises in cnc machines for cutting difficult products.
    If you go to our site at www.advancedrobotic.com and go to ROUTERS.
    Pay special attention to the Smart Router XR4800. There are videos there cutting fibreglass among other things.
     
  9. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Yup. I am "interesred"

    Had trouble finding the videos - can you paste a more specific link please David ?
     
  10. David White
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    Location: Brisbane Australia

    David White Junior Member

    Videos for fibreglass mat cutting

    Try these videos out to see fibreglass matting being cut using the Pizza Wheel attachment on the XR4800 Smart Router.
    This tool automatically loads, along with straight and bevel knives, reciprocating saws, drills, and of course, router bits.
    It cuts almost anything.
    The first link is on our web site so you can see other features available if they are of any interest.
    http://www.advancedrobotic.com/NdRNFqPfyN0-video.html
    also
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwJk_yZNEn4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74EFu-FQzeM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-WQ1wdeFEY
     
  11. David White
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    Location: Brisbane Australia

    David White Junior Member

    Thanks for the spell check too!
     

  12. David White
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    Location: Brisbane Australia

    David White Junior Member

    We also have special matting for under the knife to stop damage to the cutters.
     
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